For people who have access to safe water and sanitation options, the simple act of washing their hands is something they often take for granted. However, the reality is that nearly a third of the population worldwide lacks access to basic handwashing facilities. At Kohler, we believe that access to safe water and sanitation is a right. This includes the right to basic hygiene, like washing hands, which is critical to improving the overall health and well-being of many communities.
In China, where only 14% of water usage goes to the basic needs of hydration, sanitation, and hygiene, rural communities often lack water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) education and handwashing facilities. The first step is raising awareness of the importance of WaSH, and there is no better place to begin than in schools. Handwashing with soap can prevent diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea, which account for 20% of child deaths in China each year, so it’s crucial to instill healthy habits early on and provide communities with the tools to prioritize good handwashing hygiene. This is why Kohler partners with MyH2O, an organization focusing on providing clean water to the students in undeveloped areas and helping them develop WaSH habits.
In an effort to enable students to act on these healthy habits, Kohler also installed an indoor water room, with wash basins and faucets at a school in the village of LiJiaPing. Our projects with MyH2O in China show that small actions can make a big difference.
Principal Jinhua, Ma says, “The turbidity of our original water was very high. Now the water quality has been greatly improved through Kohler's water purification system. The water that comes out is clean and clear, which greatly reduces the health risks to children.”
We are excited to see what impact our partnership with MyH2Oin China will make around WaSH in schools and communities in the future. On Global Handwashing Day, we encourage others to join us in raising awareness and making global hand hygiene a reality.
Stewardship, product and design teams collaborate to transform a primary school space in China into a safe water and sanitation facility for young students.